Endometriosis Treatment

Nonsurgical and Surgical Treatment of Pelvic Pain and Heavy Bleeding

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Endometriosis causes inflammation in the lining of the abdomen and can trigger pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and infertility. That's why it’s important to diagnose endometriosis as soon as possible and develop an effective treatment plan, especially if you are in your childbearing years. Duke Health endometriosis specialists diagnose your condition quickly and offer a range of endometriosis treatment options, including laparoscopy for endometriosis surgery to remove endometriosis and treat your pain.

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Tests for Endometriosis

In addition to a gynecological exam, your doctor may order one of the following tests.

Ultrasound or MRI

These scans provide images of your uterus, ovaries, and other pelvic organs. Ultrasound scans and MRIs cannot diagnose endometriosis, but they may help your doctor see any effects or changes it causes within the pelvis.

Laparoscopic Endometrial Biopsy

A tiny camera inserted into your belly button allows your doctor to view the inside of the pelvis and search for signs of endometriosis. This is done as surgery with same-day discharge. When possible, our endometriosis specialists perform “see and treat” laparoscopy, so we can diagnose and treat the endometriosis in one step.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Endometriosis Treatments

The extent of the endometriosis determines the type of treatment we recommend.

Pain Medication

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, we may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) or prescription-strength pain medication.

Hormone Therapy

Endometriosis pain can fluctuate with your menstrual cycle. Because endometriosis responds to female hormones such as estrogen, hormone therapy that stops the body from producing estrogen may be prescribed to slow the growth of endometriosis. 

Hormone therapy can take different forms: daily oral medications, sub-dermal implants, IUDs (intrauterine devices), or injections that are received several times a year. We tailor your hormone therapy regimen to your lifestyle and specific health needs.

Laparoscopic Endometriosis Surgery

We may recommend surgery if your endometriosis is causing severe pain. Our surgeons specialize in a minimally invasive approach called laparoscopy that requires only small incisions in your abdomen. A laparoscope with a camera at its tip is inserted through these incisions. We then have a clear view to identify, remove, or destroy endometriosis lesions, cysts, and scar tissue without harming the healthy tissue around it. The minimally invasive approach shortens hospital stays and lets you recover faster when compared to surgery performed with larger incisions.


Our goal is to preserve your reproductive organs, especially if you are of childbearing age. We consider hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) to be the last resort when other treatments fail to control your pain and symptoms. We use minimally invasive surgical techniques, when possible, to make your recovery easier.

Why Choose Duke

Endometriosis Specialists
We regularly treat many women with endometriosis and pelvic pain. This experience helps our doctors recognize the signs of endometriosis early and develop an effective and individualized treatment plan for you that includes the latest treatment advances.

Skilled in Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery
Our surgeons are known for their expertise and skill in laparoscopic endometriosis surgery techniques that will make your recovery from surgery faster and more comfortable. 

Advanced OR Technology, Including Robotic Surgery
Our operating rooms are equipped with high-definition imaging equipment that can help increase the precision of your surgical procedure. When appropriate, robotic equipment may be used during minimally invasive procedures. This sophisticated instrumentation can assist the surgeon in completing a complex surgery in a minimally invasive manner. 

A Team Approach to Your Care
Our doctors take a team approach to treatment for women with endometriosis and persistent pelvic pain. Your team may include a surgeon, physical therapist, and pain-management specialist. Our pain clinic offers many treatment options including medications, injections, and acupuncture.

Our Goal Is to Keep Your Reproductive Organs Intact
We understand that a diagnosis of endometriosis can be devastating to women in their childbearing years. We start your treatment by offering nonsurgical medical treatments and minimally invasive surgical options. Preservation of your fertility is a priority. We recommend hysterectomy as a last resort when other options have been exhausted.

Best Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynecology in North Carolina

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. That is why our obstetrics and gynecology program is nationally ranked, and is the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023-2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 12/07/2021 by